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December 16, 2013 - January 05, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for South Sudan
Posted on January 5, 2014

Attempted Coup in South Sudan
Independent Media:

Gurtong, December 16th 2013: Press Release of the Full Statement by President Salva Kiir on Attempted Coup:

“The purpose of this press statement is to inform you about the events that unfolded last night on December 15th, 2013 which continued until this morning December 16, 2013 in Juba city, which raised some fears and confusion, amongst the citizens of our beloved Nation.

Yesterday at about 6:30PM, during the closing of the SPLM National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting an unidentified person near Nyakuron Cultural Center released gunshots in the air and escaped. This was followed later by an attack at the SPLA HQ’s near Juba University by a group of soldiers allied to the Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny and his group. These attacks continued until this morning. However, I would like to inform you at the outset that your government is in full control of the security situation in Juba. The attackers fled and your forces are pursuing them. I promise you today that Justice will prevail.

Fellow citizens,
Let me reiterate my statement during the opening of the NLC meeting few days ago in which I said that my government is not and will not allow the incidents of 1991 to repeat themselves again.

This prophet of doom continues to persistently pursue his actions of the past and I have to tell you that I will not allow or tolerate such incidents once again in our new Nation. I strongly condemn these criminal actions in the strongest terms possible.

Fellow citizens,
Your Government led by the SPLM has articulated the ideals of democracy in the party as well as in the Government and I will never deviate from them at any cost. The SPLM is fully committed to the peaceful and democratic transfer of power and will never allow political power to be transferred through violence.

Fellow citizens,
In response to the criminal acts of yesterday committed by this disgruntle group and for the sake of the security and safety of our citizens I declare curfew in Juba as to be observed from 6PM to 6AM with immediate effect from today, December 16, 2013 until further notice. Security organs are hereby directed to allow the residents of Juba to go about doing their normal work and move freely during the day light hours. The security organs will also undertake full investigation into these incidents and the government will ensure that the culprits answer for their crimes before the appropriate law institutions.

Fellow Citizens,
Rest assured that the Government is doing all it can to make sure the citizens are secured and safe.

Long Live the Unity of our people
Long Live The Republic of South Sudan
Thanks and God Bless South Sudan and You all.”

Foreign Media

NY Times (Online), December 16th 2013

  • South Sudan president, Kiir announced in a televised press conference that there has been a failed coup attempt by those loyal to the former vice president, Riek Machar.
  • Kiir stated:
  • President Kiir also announced that there will now be a curfew in Juba from 6PM to 6AM

BBC News (Online), December 17th 2013

  • After the attempted coup, there was still overnight gunfire in the capital. This gunfire occurred one day after the government had reported it had squashed the attempted coup.
  • Reports state that the fresh gunfire was near the presidential palace and other Juba areas.
  • Several thousands fled to the UN compounds.
  • Since the attempted coup there has been a curfew enforced, and at least 4 former government ministers have been arrested.
  • The president has been blaming soldiers that are loyal to the ex-deputy Riek Machar for the violence of the attempted coup.

World Bulletin (Online), December 17th 2013

  • One day after the president announced the failed coup, there was still gunfire heard in the capital, the airport was closed, and the cell service in most of the area was down.

EuroNews (Online), December 17th 2013

  • Reports that witnesses to the continued escalation the day after the president announced the failed coup say that the early morning saw explosions and gunfire, with a period of calm that followed before the sporadic gunfire restarted.
  • As of December 17th, there were approximately 26 reported dead
Attack on UN South Sudan Base
Independent Media

Gurtong, December 20th 2013

  • Remarks on the condemnation of the attack of the UN base. States that the UN’s press statement reported that: “At the time, 43 Indian peacekeepers, six UN police advisers and two civilians of the UN were present at the base. About 30 South Sudanese had sought shelter from the turmoil plaguing areas of Akobo County”

Gurtong (Online), December 21st 2013

  • Reports that the attack on the UN base in Jonglei state has resulted in at least 11 civilians killed. The attack was led by about 2000 armed youth. The attack occurred in the Jonglei town, Akobo, on December 19th.
Foreign Media

UN Organization (Online), December 19th 2013

  • The UN reports that there were unknown ‘assailants’ who attacked their base in South Sudan where there were civilians seeking refuge during the current violence. It is possible that there was killing and injury to the civilians. The UN has strongly condemned this attack.
Rebels seize control of key oil area in Unity State
Foreign Media

Appeal Democrat (Online), December 22nd 2013

  • The central government lost the control over a crucial oil area of South Sudan.
  • “Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state, is now controlled by a military commander loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, said Col. Philip Aguer, the South Sudanese military spokesman.”
  • The article reports that this is especially problematic as South Sudan gets about 99% of its government budget from oil revenues.
Unrest in Bor
Independent Media

Sudan Tribune, December 24th 2013

  • Reports claims by the South Sudanese army that state they have retaken Bor from the rebels.

Sudan Tribune, December 28th 2013

  • SPLA spokesman, Philip Aguer warns that the rebel forces are planning another attack on Bor.

Radio Tamazuj (Online), December 28th 2013

  • The spokesman for the South Sudan government reports that Machar is now in Uror County, Jonglei State and is raising an army of civilians.
  • Reports that armed rebel youths are continuing to advance onto Bor.

Gurtong (Online), December 31st 2013

  • The South Sudan Army fought rebels in Bor, the morning of December 31st. Hundreds of residents fled to the Lakes State. It is reported that this fighting occurred despite East African nations’ deadlines to reach peace talks.
Kiir declares Unity and Jonglei to be in a State of Emergency
Independent Media

Radio Tamazuj (Online), January 1st 2013

  • President Kiir declares a state of emergency in Unity and Jonglei states. The capitals of these states and their surrounding areas are in the control of the rebels.
  • This is the first time there has been a call for a State of Emergency in South Sudan since its 2011 independence.

Sudan Tribune, January 2nd 2013

The Sudan Tribune interviewed residents to see how they reacted to the declaration of a state of emergency:

  • “As far as I know, state of emergency entails a lot of things, but one thing which I must underline here is that these areas will be no-go areas for the civil population, because they will now be considered war zones. There will be no movements beyond governmentcontrolled areas or beyond places under the rebels’ control”- Deng Simon Mawien, Warrap State
  • “I could not believe that our people would again be killed in meaningless war because [of] individuals trying to get the power to satisfy their own interests. This is unacceptable and our people should not support such people”- Charles Sebit Gberende, Western Bahr el Ghazal
  • “There has been a general consensus that things are not working and I think this plan just laid out; if the plan is buttressed by judicial and police reforms, which must be done, it has the potential to address the grievances of the local population”- Tut Peter Yoak,

Sudan Tribune, January 2nd 2013

  • The declaration of the state of emergency is coinciding with ceasefire talks between the rebels and the government in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
Peace Talks
Begin State-Owned Media

Government of South Sudan (Online Webpage), January 7th 2013

  • The government has announced that it will not release any of the political detainees, which is a demand of the rebel representatives during the peace talks in Addis Ababa. Kiir stated: “We have lost more than 100 lives, ……and if such a number of people have died, property has either been destroyed or looted; we want to know who is responsible to all these loses. It is not just a matter of releasing people who have been the cause of all this destruction, they will be released but not as a precondition for talks”.
Independent Media

Sudan Tribune (Online), January 7 th 2013

  • Peace negotiators of South Sudan and the rebels have begun as of this past Tuesday in Addis Ababa. It is seen as unlikely by regional leaders that an agreement of a ceasefire will be reached in the coming few days.
  • This report labels this conflict as the worst in South Sudan’s post-independence history. Over 1,000 have been killed and nearly 200,000 displaced.
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